Posts Tagged ‘Riesling’

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Between the cold weather, Tom getting the flu, and busy weekends, we have not been able to get to wineries outside of our area. We often travel to the Central Jersey wine trail when we can, which includes Cream Ridge Winery and Working Dog Winery. We did slip in a couple trips to these vineyards recently, but we haven’t had enough time to make it to the wineries in South Jersey. These might require a weekend trip since there are so many around Gloucester, Atlantic, and Salem counties. In the meantime, until we have the time, money, and favorable weather to get to the South Jersey locations, I’m glad there are online wine retailers that sell NJ wines! They can ship some of my favorite wines or NJ brands right to me. In some cases, it would take an hour or 2 for us to travel to one of these wineries. Of course, I love visiting the vineyards and when we stop there I try to stock up on the wines I enjoy. But on occasion it’s easier to have it shipped to us and do an in home tasting.

I recently received Tomasello’s Pomegranate Champagne, Chambourcin, and Sparking Pinot Noir, as well as Alba’s Riesling from WineChateau.com. When the box arrived it felt like Christmas! I might just order wine more often.

Tomasello’s Sparkling Pomegranate – This is a fun, unique champagne. Being pomegranate it was on the sweeter side, which I can appreciate. Of course, there was a lot of fizz at first, but it settled down for a delightfully refreshing, effervescent, fruity champagne. I think I’ll bring one of these to a family Easter party as a way to celebrate the occasion. The flavors will be fitting for the event too, bright, fruity, and fun.

Tomasello’s Chambourcin – This smooth, light wine had a smoky and peppery quality to it. It reminded me of black cherry without the sweetness. Tomasello’s Chambourcin is a true red wine.

Alba Riesling – It’s gone! I drank it all and enjoyed every sip of it. It was an appropriate amount of sweet. It was reminiscent of apple flavors, but not tart. Alba’s Riesling is good, fruity, and citrusy. These qualities made me yearn for summer and warm weather. This Riesling is nice – satisfying for fans of sweeter wines.

Tomasello’s Sparkling Pinot Noir – I have to admit I was not crazy about this champagne. It struck me as a weird combination. It was very effervescent. For some reason it seemed hard for me to get past the fizz. When I did, I really noticed the Pinot Noir quality on the finish. Since I’m more of a white or sweet wine drinker, this one didn’t appeal to me. But since Tomasello has so many great wines and I really enjoyed the Pomegranate Champagne, I didn’t think much of it.

I love supporting NJ entrepreneurs and businesses. Wine Chateau is a NJ based online wine store, with 2 physical locations. You can go there right now and order the wines I talk about. Not only is it a NJ business, but the founder also went to a NJ college, NJIT. He one upped me on that, because I went to NYIT. Anyway, WineChateau.com has about 53 NJ wines for you to pick from.

I can’t wait to get to the actual Tomasello winery. I’ve had so many good wines from them. But in the meantime, I’ll get my fix from their small shops when I can get there and WineChateau.com. I suggest ordering some wines for Easter or Spring celebrations. I often bring NJ wines to parties and they’re a great conversation piece. Guests learn about NJ’s agriculture and burgeoning wine business and we get to chat about one of my favorite topics, wine. Next, I may order Tomasello’s Sweet Cakes Sweet Concord and their Red Raspberry Moscato. How about you? What will you order? View this link and search by US region to see what NJ wines WineChauteau.com carries.


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Recently, when Tom and I went on our north west NJ wine trail, we stopped at Alba, Villa Millagro, and Beneduce Vineyards. On this occasion Beneduce was our last stop. Beneduce Vineyards is fairly new. They purchased the vineyard in 2000, but their family has been growing wine in the US since they emigrated from Italy in the early 1900s.

We cut through a residential area to get there, so don’t let that throw you off. The actual vineyard was set back off the road a little bit. After driving up a gravel driveway, you are greeted by an outdoor relaxation area off to the right and just ahead of greenhouses. Further to the right are rows of vines. The actual wine tasting room is just past the outdoor area. The tasting room is large and smells new. Immediately on your right is a tasting bar with large windows behind it that overlook the patio and greenhouses. There were some smaller casks near the back wall and a HUGE wine barrel at the far end of the room. There was also a wood burning stove in the corner, just past their gift shop. We purchased the tasting that included the meat and cheese sampler.

We tried…

Three Windows White – Aged in stainless steel, this Riesling had an enjoyable taste that’s less sweet than typical wines of this style. Tom enjoyed it and he usually prefers dryer whites. I did notice that it had a bit of kick on the finish, which was borderline too much for me.

Chardonnay – The Chardonnay is fermented in oak from different forests. That didn’t seem to have an impact on the flavor for me. It seemed like an average oaky Chardonnay in taste, feel, and smell.

Shotgun Red – This red is a blend. It’s also aged in stainless steel which gives it a fruitier feel than their other wines. It’s more fruit forward than sweet, with hints of strawberry and cherry. This wine is called Shotgun Red because they found shotgun shells when digging for grapes on this property.

Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec – This wine was aged in American Oak and gave off a hint of plum and a mocha aroma.

Centerfold Pinot Noir – Unlike the other red we tried, the Pinot Noir is partially aged in French Oak. I sensed a pomegranate flavor and enjoyed the pleasant smell. The tannins were silky, but it was a little too bitter for me.

This winery is a nice additional stop to the north west NJ wine trail. It may be nicer to stop here during the summer and enjoy their patio area.


2 Wine Glasses (Out of 5)

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From Four Sisters Winery, we drove along Route 46 to Brook Hollow Winery. This part of 46 is completely different than the 46 I grew up with. The drive was nice and the road was sprinkled with farmer’s market stores and unique restaurants.


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